The Science of Gastronomy (Coursera)

The Science of Gastronomy is online course offered by The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology via Coursera.

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The Science of Gastronomy course introduces a number of basic scientific principles underpinning the methodology of cooking, food preparation and the enjoyment of food. All topics covered have a strong basis in biology, chemistry, and physics application. Among others, they include the consumption of cooked food, the physiological and evolutionary implication of the senses, geographic and cultural influences on food, and the rationale behind food preparation.

We will also discuss issues such as coupling of senses to improve sense stimulation; altering flavor by chemical means; and modification of the coloration to improve the appearance of dishes. Following the video demonstrations of the scientific principles of cooking, you will learn to recognize the key ingredients and their combinations for preparing good healthy food. At the end of this course, you will be able to:

appreciate the scientific basis of various recipes;
develop your own recipes by integrating some of the scientific principles into new dishes;
recognize the influence of the material world on human perception from the different senses;
appreciate the art of integrating science into cooking and dining.

Important Note: The Science of Gastronomy course is not designed for people with special dietary needs such as vegetarian, diabetic, and gluten-free diets. If you feel uncomfortable with any part of the assignments or activities of this course, you can substitute some of the ingredients or ask friends and family members to help with the tasting of your assignments. Alternatively, you may skip that specific assignment provided that you have fulfilled all other qualifying requirement to pass the course.
Course Overview video:


Orientation, Module 1 and Module 2

This week, we will focus on “Energy Transfer” and “Hunger and Satiety”. Before you start with the content for these modules, please watch the Course Overview, review the Grading Scheme, and read the Important Note on special dietary needs.

Module 3 and Module 4

This week, we will talk about how flavor and aroma of food affects our perception of taste of food.

Module 5 and Module 6

This week, we will talk about how color and texture of food affects our perception of taste of food.

Module 7 and Module 8

This week, we will look at how fruits and vegetables can enhance the quality in cooking and to learn about the properties of meat.

Module 8 (continued) and Module 9

This week, we will continue our focus on the preparation and cooking of meat and learn about the elements that affect the preparation of sauces.

Module 9 (continued) and Module 10

This week, we will continue our focus on the preparation of sauces and finish up the course with the last topic on dessert. After completing all the content, it’s time to test your understanding on the entire course. Take the final exam and complete the post-course survey. Your valuable feedback will certainly help us improve future iterations of the course.


King Chow and Lam Lung Yeung

Additional information

Course Delivery


Course Efforts

24 Hours

Course Enrollment


Course Language


Course Length

6 Weeks

Course Level


Course Provider

Course School

Course Subtitles

Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish

Flexible Learning


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